Arkansas Politicians Call for Darr's Resignation

(KATV)-Arkansas politicians on both sides called for Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's resignation Tuesday. Early today, Governor Mike Beebe called for Darr's resignation at the state capitol. Darr settled with the Arkansas Ethics Commission Monday and agreed to pay $11,000 dollars in fines, $1,000 dollars for 11 violations.

"I think it's in everybody's best interest including mr. Darr if he resigned," Beebe said.

Beebe's comments spurred other Arkansas politicians to call for Darr's resignation today, including the Republican delegation, which has remained largely silent on the issue until now.

Republican Members of Arkansas's Congressional delegation, Sen. John Boozman, Reps. Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4), today issued the following joint statement calling for the immediate resignation of Lt. Governor Mark Darr:

"As elected officials, we are keepers of the public trust. We are bound by a very strict code of conduct that is the basis of that trust.{} Based on Lt. Governor Darr's own admissions, it is clear he has violated that trust, and he should step down immediately for the good of our state."

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross also echoed Beebe and Arkansas' delegation in a statement that Darr should resign.

"Our elected officials must be held to the highest possible standard, and they must have the people's absolute trust and confidence in order to effectively do their jobs. Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr has admitted he improperly spent campaign and taxpayer dollars, and therefore he should act in the best interest of the state of Arkansas and resign immediately," Ross said.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson said alleged ethics violations by Lt. Governor Mark Darr are "troubling and serious." Hutchinson said elected officials should be held accountable for their conduct.

"In the case of Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, the ethical violations are troubling and serious and should be reviewed by the prosecuting attorney.{} As a former prosecutor, I understand the importance of holding public officials accountable for improper conduct," Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson added that if criminal charges are filed then Darr should resign.

"In my view, the public has a right to expect the highest level of ethical conduct by its elected officials and the public should demand resignation when criminal conduct has occurred. {}It should be noted that only a prosecutor or grand jury can assess the question of criminal conduct and whether there is probable cause for criminal charges.{} It is my understanding that the Pulaski County prosecutor is reviewing the ethical violations of Lt. Gov. Mark Darr.{} It is important that the prosecutor assess the violations to{}determine{}whether criminal conduct has occurred and charges should be filed.{} If criminal charges are filed then a resignation should be demanded.{} Until then, we should let the process work and expect the decision of the Ethics Commission in terms of fine and amended reports to be fulfilled," Hutchinson said.